February 19, 2009

Bison balance claims District 14 title

Calm, confidently Kate Berg wiped the beads of sweat away from her face before giving her teammate a nod. Then Berg flicked the ball off her fingertips and in for the free throw.

The Hazen junior made 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and 20 points in the contest as the Bison defeated Dickinson Trinity to claim the District 14 Championship Monday.

"I don’t know what to say; I had a job to do and I did it," Berg said of the final two free throws that clinched the game. "You have to be in your own world. We practice that a lot in practice."

Hazen advances to the Region 7 Tournament to face off against District 13’s fourth place seed Heart River at 3 p.m. MST Feb. 23 at The Knights of Columbus Activities Center in Dickinson. But Bison head coach Leland Opp said after the district tournament, he knows his girls are ready for anything.

"I’m not concerned with who we play but we will be prepared," he said. "We have four quality teams coming out of our district. I wish them all the best of luck and we know District 14 will be well represented."

Hazen 67, Dickinson Trinity 60

It was Hazen’s preparedness that gave them the title as they entered the championship night without one of their team staples. Sole Hazen senior Brianna Beecher was out sick so Berg was notified she was going to start as she sat in the bleachers watching the other games.

"We’ve prepared all season long for what we need to finish districts: Balance," Opp explained of giving Berg the start. "We prepared in the regular season because you just don’t know who’s going to get sick, injured or have a family emergency."

The Titans were also missing one of their starters as Avery Jirges was out with a concussion.

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